Volunteers have been recognised with awards for their outstanding service, dedication and commitment to the conservation and appreciation of the State’s distinctive biodiversity and natural landscapes.
Environment Minister Donna Faragher said public participation was a key priority for the State Government and it had implemented numerous community involvement programs throughout the State.
“The Department of Environment and Conservation’s (DEC) Community Involvement program is an excellent example of this and has continued to successfully encourage and foster the participation of individuals and groups in conservation management,” Mrs Faragher said.
“In 2009-10, more than 3,000 volunteers contributed about 450,000 hours of their time and support to the department in protecting Western Australia’s unique environment, plants and animals and special natural places.
“Countless hours were contributed by those who served on local advisory committees or were among the 1,800 volunteer wildlife rehabilitators who care for injured native animals so they can be released into the wild. In addition, there are about 350 people who volunteer as campground hosts, meeting and greeting the visitors to our national parks.
“As Minister, I thank all these volunteers for their outstanding efforts.”
DEC’s volunteer programs include campground hosts; wildlife rehabilitators; honorary CALM officers; WILDCARE Helpline; regional and national parks friends groups; Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi volunteers; turtle tagging volunteers; flora survey volunteers; and library, Herbarium and Perth Observatory volunteers.
Volunteers assist with wildlife management and research; forest research; information services; interpretation; visitor surveys; park planning and management; rehabilitation projects; erosion control; and historical research.
“All volunteers across these programs make a significant contribution and I congratulate them for their invaluable contribution to conserving the nature of our great State,” Mrs Faragher said.
Volunteer of the Year Awards
Fred and Jean Hort: Fred and Jean have been recognised for their work in maintaining commitments to flora conservation as part of DEC’s fire management program in its Perth Hills District.
Chris Hollister: Chris has been instrumental in developing more than 1,700 computer keys to aid identification of plant species and has made a significant contribution to botany in WA. He has been volunteering at the WA Herbarium since 1996 and has contributed the equivalent of 7.5 years full-time work.
Margaret Brims: Margaret has been volunteering at the WA Herbarium for more than 21 years. She has become expert in the identification of daisy specimens and, more recently, has undertaken the role of curator of the Herbarium’s slime mould collection.
Outstanding Service Awards
Frank Bilk: Frank has been volunteering at the Perth Observatory for more than 10 years and in April 2009 took up the role of Volunteer Group chairman at a time of significant change.
John Morris: John, now aged 80, has been a volunteer at the Perth Observatory since 1996. He has undertaken extensive research into information in the Atlas Coelestis that was donated to the observatory in 2001.
Brenda and Ashley Tenbroeke: Brenda and Ashley co-ordinate specialist callouts to members of DEC’s Animal Control Agents group. This is a 24/7 role and at times is highly demanding.
Shirley Oliver: Shirley is a stalwart of the Swan River Trust’s River Guardians program and is involved with care of native wildlife through Native ARC and the Darling Range Wildlife Shelter.
John Hardman: A volunteer with the Eyes on the Ground Maintenance program, John is also heavily involved as a volunteer guide for novices to the Bibbulmun Track and assists with the Bibbulmun Team Challenge.
Wendy Nelson: Wendy is active in adopting maintenance of a section of the Bibbulmun Track, guiding members of the public and school children and assisting with the Bibbulmun Team Challenge.
Charmaine Harris: Charmaine is a very experienced volunteer guide, helps co-ordinate the 400 Bibbulmun Track Foundation volunteers and writes articles for the Bibbulmun News.
Patricia (Pat) Angel: Pat has provided the equivalent of more than three years service since 1996. She has assisted with important curatorial work at the WA Herbarium. In particular, her detailed knowledge and experience have allowed competent and systematic ‘filing’ of botanical specimens.
Bernice Greenlees: A library specialist, Bernice has contributed two days each week since 2004 to DEC’s Wildlife Science Library. With 8,000 records in the catalogue, Bernice’s dedication and attention to detail has been invaluable.
Leanne Robb: A Munda Biddi Trail Foundation board member since 2006, Leanne is involved in governance, trail maintenance and guiding along the trail. She also assists with surveys and office management and currently donates about two days of her time a week to the foundation.
Michael Filby: Keep Australia Beautiful, Adopt a Spot: For the past six years, Michael has cleared 500 bags of rubbish each year from local highway verges as part of Keep Australia Beautiful’s Adopt a Spot program.
Yanchep National Park, Volunteer Guides: The Yanchep National Park Volunteer Guides group is typical of a number of specialist groups at the park. The nomination praised the contribution and enthusiasm of the guides which made visitors’ bushwalks a memorable experience.
Minister's office - 9213 7250